My story is much like yours, though I did not discover the extent of the duplicity until I was much older than you.
Please, know this: no matter what the outcome, in terms of your marriage, you will survive and thrive.
You do not require the "love" of an intimidating and physically abusive cheater--a "man" who, despite "love" for you and undeniable chemistry--watched you be taken in handcuffs to jail to take the heat off himself.
You need, instead, a tremendously skilled IC, some good legal counsel (and hey! also think about finishing that law degree!), and some serious space from this man. Because you do not know him, and strangers are dangerous.
With time and very hard work, you may become acquainted with the man he really is. You might learn (if he does hard work) that he can become safe, become a man who allows you to truly know him, so that you can assess whether you wish to be with him. But until that work is done, he will remain a dangerous stranger.
I am so sorry. I am divorcing a stranger I've "known" (been with) for over 35 years. It's mind-boggling, but truth is a gift, so be sure you continue to seek it.
I think you are doing as well or better than anyone else who is in the same situation, but it isn't about judging you or comparing what you are doing to what other people would want you to do..
Just do the best you know how to ensure the physical and mental safety of you and your little ones..
Please keep posting here..
Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
Personally, I congratulate you on getting out. You are still very young, and I feel your life is just beginning, rather than ending as you are feeling.
I regarded Dday as a wake-up call, and hope you can reframe it that way also; that will empower you.
"Ruby, if you choose to go back to this man after all he's done to you, then you can no longer claim victim status. It will be on you next time something happens."
I'm not looking to claim "victim status," how horrid that one would even desire that. And why the heavy handed judgment? I have read so many posts from women wrestling with terrible decisions, torn between starting over and taking back a partner who has cheated, lied, and even abused them, and other posters rally behind them with commiseration and support. But my thoughts about that same decision have been dismissed and invalidated.
All of this stuff, every last story I've read on this site, all of the things these WSs have done would have been deal breakers to me before I had to walk a mile in these shoes. Our deal is most likely broken. He cheated on me and hit me! Fuck! I'm so outraged and so devastated. And I can't talk to ANYONE IRL about this because I need to be able to work through my feelings without anyone judging me. I don't want to be told what to do. I hoped to find people here who could understand, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate the kindness in most of y'all's posts. But I'm really hung up on the harsh judgey ones. Please give me the same respect you'd give me if he hadn't hit me. Although that is clearly the assumption, and it ultimately may, right now at this juncture that fact does not make my decision easier. It just makes my pain greater and my life more complicated than if he had not.
[This message edited by Rubyrain at 2:26 PM, May 16th (Friday)]
The emotional abuse was not a deal breaker for me. It was unacceptable, and I had lots of words with him over it. He never "got away with" talking to me like that. I was insisting we see a MC right before this happened because I hated that he'd go there in fights. It might have eventually become a deal breaker by eroding my respect for him and just being too hurtful, but it just wasn't a nuclear bomb like cheating or physical abuse. I wouldn't want to, but I could probably spend my life with a man if the worst of him was that every so often he'd be a complete asshole during a fight. Maybe y'all will think me weak for that, but I'm just being honest.